W-I-N-N-E-R: Sixth-grader wins Eudora Middle School spelling bee
Eudora Middle School sixth-grader Easton Kewley bit his lower lip and tapped his fingers on his knees as he waited for his turn in the final round of Thursday’s Eudora Middle School spelling bee.
After seventh-grader Sidney Johnson missed the word “fuselage,” Kewley correctly spelled “festival.” He then only needed to spell one more word correctly to win.
He steadily spelled the word, “h-a-w-k-e-y-e,” and then waited for a beat. He had won.
It was the second year in a row he had won the spelling bee at his school, as he won last year’s spelling bee as a fifth-grader at Eudora West Elementary.
“I feel great right now,” Kewley said after his victory. “I couldn’t believe that they gave her “fuselage” and they gave me ‘hawkeye.’”
Seventh grade English instructor Denise Kendall, who also organized the spelling bee, noted the chance involved in that scenario.
“That’s the luck of the draw,” Kendall said. “We couldn’t believe it either.”
All words used during the competition come from a list provided by Scripps National Bee and are not arbitrarily chosen.
Scripps also provided each of the ten participants in each grade with a practice packet that provided various tips.
Win or lose, Kendall said the competition is a valuable experience for the students because they don’t get many chances to talk in front of large crowds.
“A lot of them are very nervous, so this helps them get that experience of speaking in front of people,” she said.”
Kewley said he was a little bit nervous but that once he got to the microphone he was able to settle down.
He will compete at the Douglas County Spelling Bee Feb. 6 at Southwest Junior High in Lawrence.